The Shaman's Journey: Moving Between the Worlds
I’m excited to continue our exploration of Journey, one of the core skills of the shaman. It’s a powerful tool that you can use in your own life to come back into the flow, back into right relationship, whenever you need to. In my last post, I shared how shamanic drumming helps you drop into a place where you can experience vivid visualizations, profound creativity and exceptional insight, as well as deep spiritual connection and oneness with the universe.
This is where the shaman works consciously to create their world. Through journey, you can do do the same! Journey opens the door to awareness of other realities, other worlds. These other worlds are sources of the energy, creativity, passion and love that create the everyday world we know. What happens during the spirit-journey is real in that dimension. This is where miracles happen… healing, clearing, creation. You can also find guidance and assistance in each world or dimension. To better understand this aspect of journey, we need to go a little deeper into the cosmology of the shaman and explore the “maps” of these spiritual realms. Across the globe, shamans – no matter their tradition or origin – share a common cosmology. There are common realms where they journey. These realms are the Middle World, the Upper World and the Lower World. All three worlds have multiple levels, and all are home to helpers and guides. For the shaman, journeying between them is an active practice of consciously exploring and creating. The more you journey into these territories yourself, the more you begin to realize we live in an unlimited universe. In these realms or worlds, you can heal, become younger or older, age differently, and work with Spirit to create a life of ease and flow, in right relationship. The Middle World is a place that seems very much like our own reality – though Spirit is tangibly present there and ready to work with us. The Middle World has time and space, and pain and suffering, but it also has spirit helpers like fairies, tree spirits, water elements and other spirits. The Upper World is often a place of light, bright energy, deep wisdom and ancient teachings. It is inhabited by Buddha, Kuan-Yin, Jesus, enlightened guides, ancestors and wise guardians. The Lower World is a place of deep beautiful earthy energy, usually reached in journey through a tunnel or root leading down into the earth. A dimension of healing and self-empowerment, we often journey to the Lower World to find power animals, gifts and guardians. The Lower World is where we typically start journeying. [Click here to join me on a free 15-minute recorded audio journey to find a power animal in the Lower World.] But first, a few quick words on the “how-to” of journeying. Journeying is most often done lying down, with the eyes closed. It also can be done sitting, standing, walking, running, dancing, singing, chanting, or any combination of these. I typically sit straight on the earth or in a chair Just as the shaman wants to stay absolutely conscious in the altered state and able to act purposefully within it, you too will want to stay awake to receive information or decide where you are steering the boat. Like a dream, a journey may be very vivid when you first return, but increasingly elusive as time goes by. I typically make notes or record images immediately after a journey. As I write it down, I often recall even more of the details. While on journey, if there is information you don’t understand or need more clarity on, know you can always ask for assistance from guides in each of the worlds, to help you better understand what is happening, or what their message means. Ready to jump in? Let's begin by doing a Lower World journey to go find a Power Animal. Since it is relatively easy to find power animals in the Lower World – they're waiting for you there – it’s a great place to start. [ACCESS YOUR FREE POWER ANIMAL JOURNEY HERE] Power animals are the most common type of spirits who work in partnership with the shaman, along with teachers in human form. One way to think of power animals is as your guardians. There may be different animals for different things, or different times in your life. Traditional wisdom believes that you have seven primary power animals over your lifetime; other animals may come as needed. You likely have two that are always with you. The one you connect with in journey may be one of these – or an entirely new one all together. I hope you enjoy the journey. [Stream or download it here.] And let me know how it goes for you. I love to hear from you, and read each and every one of your responses. Next time, we’ll journey together to the Upper World to meet a guide or guardian.